Doors Open Days 2020

Tenements in almost 300 towns across Scotland were regulated by the Burgh Police Act of 1892 which limited the number of flats that could be accessed from any one stairway; required rooms to be of 9 foot height, windows to be one tenth of floor area, closes to be 4 ft wide and the number of and location of WCs. But local builders and architects still made each town’s buildings distinct.

1896 tenement building lite.jpg
Tenement Building in 1896Archive

This year we ran five webinars in conjunction with conservation architects and surveyors across Scotland.  Each webinar also featured a leading trade specialist such as stonemasons, lead workers and sash and case window specialists.

Each webinar took the form of a conversation between experts prompted by photographs and illustrations.  A live Q&A followed.

All these webinars are now available to view. You’ll be asked to register just so we can monitor the number of people who are viewing each webinar.


The cost of working at height

In Inverness we talked with with local conservation architect Calum McLean and Steven Laing of Laings Traditional Masonry, the firm that has recently repaired Inverness Townhouse.  We covered some of the issues the beautiful ornamentation on Inverness’ stone buildings can give for maintenance, where Inverness building stone came from and some of the issues of working at height including the cost of scaffolding.

View the Inverness Webinar recording


Innovation in traditional buildings and using lime

In Aberdeen John Gilbert was in conversation with James Roy, an Aberdeen based conservation architect and Roz Artis of the Scottish Lime Centre. They talked about the Aberdeen style of tenement, the perils of innovation and insulation in traditional buildings and how the use of lime can save your building.

View the Aberdeen Webinar recording 


“M” shaped roofs and timber –v – uPVC windows

In this webinar John Gilbert, co-author of Under One Roof Scotland was in conversation with Jo Parry-Geddes, a conservation architect with Mill Architects and David Gibbon, a conservation accredited building surveyor with GLM Surveyors.  They focussed on the problems that Edinburgh’s traditional “M” shaped roofs with valley gutters in the centre of the building can give problems and how Irn Bru led to smaller rooms for one owner. They also talked to Andrew Seatter of Sash and Case Scotland and compared timber and uPVC windows and showed how timber cills should be replaced.

View the Edinburgh Webinar recording


Tenement history and stone repair

The Glasgow “Talking Tenements” webinar discussed how health concerns drove tenement design and construction before continuing to look at what we have learnt about the  repair and treatment of stone as a building material.    This webinar featured conservation architect Fiona Sinclair and Graeme Frame of C-B-C Stone.

View the Glasgow Webinar Recording

Argyll & Bute 

Platties, preventing fires from building work and contractor insurance

In this webinar, John talked to Nick Blair of ZM Architects , a firm which has repaired many tenements in Rothesay and Campbletown recently. They looked at some of the challenges of restoring platties and the impact of the marine environment on buildings. They were joined by Gordon Matheson of Mathesons Plumbing who discussed pictures of leadwork normally only seen from high.

See the on-demand webinar here

burgh police act orange.jpg
Burgh Police Act RulesJohn GilbertRegulations also covered the size of backcourts, ventilation and repair standards